New Brunswickers will pay more tax in 2014

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the new year will not be a good one for New Brunswick taxpayers.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says government's plan to reduce deficit through taxes backfiring

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the new year will not be a good one for New Brunswick taxpayers.

A New Brunswicker earning $45,000 in 2014 will pay $145 more than last year, while someone earning $60,000 will pay about $400 more, according to the federation's Atlantic director, Kevin Lacey.

He says the Alward government's plan to cut the province's deficit through taxation is backfiring.

"When the province brought in these massive tax increases, they said they did so to try to solve the province's fiscal situation, but the fiscal situation today is worse than it was when these tax increases came in, largely because it took so much money out of the economy, making the economy worse before it made it better," said Lacey.

"So the tax increases have had the opposite effect. It made it more difficult for the government to balance the budget than it did before."

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Blaine Higgs revised his deficit projection for the current budget year. 

Based on second quarter information, the deficit projection now stands at $538.2 million, an increase of $59.5 million from the earlier projection.

Higgs said the province found $93.2 million in expense savings in the second quarter, but saw its revenue projections fall.

The province's net debt of more than $11 billion is expected to grow by $587.2 million for the year ended March 31, 2014.

Lacey says New Brunswickers are moving to Alberta, not only for jobs, but also for lower taxes after income tax rates went up in July.

"Prior to July 1st, New Brunswick was one of the lower tax jurisdictions in Canada. Now New Brunswick is one of the higher tax jurisdictions in Canada," he said.

"If you compare someone living in Fort McMurray and someone living in Saint John, N.B., earning $60,000, the person in Fort McMurray will pay $1,700 less in income tax alone … and that doesn't include that Albertans don't pay provincial sales tax."

New Brunswickers will also be paying more for electricity in the new year, said Lacey.

NB Power increased rates by two per cent on Oct. 1, with another two per cent-increase scheduled for Oct. 1, 2014.